VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat 5.5 Release Notes

vCenter Server Heartbeat 5.5 | 03/10/2009 | Build 1676

Last Document Update: 22 APR 2009

Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.

This release of VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat provides protection for the following products:

vCenter Server 2.5
vCenter Server 2.5 Update 1
vCenter Server 2.5 Update 2
vCenter Server 2.5 Update 3

These release notes include the following topics:

What's New

The following information provides highlights of some of the features available in this release of vCenter Server Heartbeat:


  • vCenter Server Heartbeat — The SQL Server Plug-in provides protection for the SQL Server database if it is present on the same server or if deployed separately. Please note that SQL Server instances added after the SQL Server Plug-in is installed will not be protected.
  • Supported vCenter Server Plug-ins
  • — vCenter Server Heartbeat supports the following vCenter Server Plug-ins:
    • Guided Consolidation
    • Update Manager
    • Converter
  • Protected Services — vCenter Server Heartbeat protects the following services:
    • VMware VirtualCenter Server (Vpxd) service
    • VMware Virtual Infrastructure Web Access (webAccess) service
    • VMware Capacity Planner service
    • VMware Converter Enterprise service
    • VMware Update Manager service
    • VMware License Server service
  • Protected Data — The protected data set and thus the exact filters will depend upon the configuration of the application plug-in at the time of install. In general, the following are protected:
    • All registry data, log files, security certificates, and configuration files.
    • All vCenter Server database instances discovered at install time.
  • Availability Rules — vCenter Server Heartbeat provides the following rules to check the health of the vCenter Server. If these rules trigger, they can be configured to recover the vCenter Server application.
    • Check that vCenter Server can communicate with SQL Server.
    • Check that vCenter Server is able to communicate with the License Server and is fully licensed.
  • Automatic Filter Discovery — vCenter Server Heartbeat will adjust file filter protection for locations described in the Protected Data section when Administrators make changes to vCenter Server's configuration. SQL Server Plug-in provides for protection of databases including changes or additions to the database and log files. For detailed information about Automated Filter Discovery with SQL Server Plug-in, refer to knowledge base article Automated filter discovery with SQL Server Plug-in (KB 1009519) (vCSHB-Ref-398).
  • Support for WAN Deployments — vCenter Server Heartbeat supports WAN deployments where the disaster recovery site is configured:
    • With the same subnet range, where the Secondary server is configured with the same IP address (default).
    • With a different subnet range, where the Secondary server requires a different IP address.
    • vCenter Server Heartbeat can be configured to update the ESX hosts with the new IP address during the switchover or failover process. Refer to knowledge base article VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat - Online Help (KB 1008601) (vCSHB-Ref-1453).

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Learning about vCenter Server Heartbeat

VMware provides you with manuals that show you how to work with vCenter Server Heartbeat. Additionally, you can view a video that introduces you to the product and demonstrates a sample installation. To download and play the video:

  1. Click Video Download and open the .zip file.
  2. Extract the files into a directory on your system and navigate to the vCSHB_QuickStart_VideoInstall subdirectory.
  3. Double-click the vCSHB_QuickStart_VideoInstall.html file to start the video.

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Before You Begin

Note: Before installing this release, review the vCenter Server Heartbeat Quick Start Guide for important information about environmental requirements and the selection of options during the installation process.

vCenter Server Heartbeat and vCenter Server Compatibility

The vCenter Server Heartbeat Reference Guide provides details on the compatibility of current and previous versions of vCenter Server.

This release of vCenter Server Heartbeat operates on Windows 2003 x86 SP1 or SP2 only.

Installation Notes for This Release

See the vCenter Server Heartbeat Guides before installing this software. You must verify that your server environment meets the minimum requirements for the network option (LAN or WAN) selected. These guides also address minimum hardware/software requirements and scaling recommendations associated with this release. To view a guide, click one of the following links:

  • vCenter Server Heartbeat Quick Start Guide (PDF)
  • vCenter Server Heartbeat Reference Guide (PDF)

Read the vCenter Server Heartbeat Reference Guide for step-by-step guidance on installing and configuring vCenter Server Heartbeat.

Enhancing Performance in WAN Environments

In WAN environments, if the latency drops below the specification for a T1 that this might reduce throughput and affect performance. Available WAN bandwidth, load on the vCenter Server system, and size of the vCenter Server inventory all affect performance . To ensure performance:

  • The Low Bandwidth Module (LBM) is enabled during the vCenter Server Heartbeat installation process.
  • Sufficient spare bandwidth is available to support replication of both vCenter Server and SQL Server data.

The minimum available bandwidth required to operate vCenter Server Heartbeat in a WAN environment is normally 1 Mbps. For vCenter Server Heartbeat installations with the SQL Server running on the same machine, you should increase the available bandwidth according to the number of vCenter Server management operations. As a general rule, add 1 Mbps of spare bandwidth for every 50 ESX/ESXi hosts managed by vCenter Server.

To determine available and required bandwidth, VMware recommends using the Heartbeat Diagnostics utility to monitor the WAN load and available bandwidth. To start Heartbeat Diagnostics:

  1. Navigate to <VMware_vCenter_Server_Heartbeat_installation_directory>\Diagnostics\Bin.
  2. Execute the Heartbeat Diagnostics Configuration Tool.

For more information about Heartbeat Diagnostics, contact VMware Technical Support.

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Known Issues

This section contains known issues for this release in the following subject areas:


  • Virtual Infrastructure Client plug-ins not replicated
    vCenter Server Heartbeat does not replicate the enabled and disables state of the VI Client plug-ins between the active and passive server.


  • Do not configure both server to have the same role or same identity using the Configure Server wizard.
    vCenter Server Heartbeat is designed to operate with:
    • one Primary and one Secondary server (the identity), multiple Primary or Secondary servers will not connect over the VMware Channel.
    • Only one active and one passive server (the role), do not configure two passive servers as they will not connect over the VMware Channel and vCenter Server will not run. Configuring two active server can cause Split-brain syndrome.

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